NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MARINE PRODUCTS VIA RADIOFAX
Radiofax Products and Detailed Schedules
Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile
Broadcast Schedules (PDF)
Synchronization/phasing problem of Pt. Reyes radiofax charts which began in Sept appears resolved as of Jan 15, 2015
Reports from mariners of both poor AND good radio reception would be greatly appreciated. Please be specific as possible noting your location, equipment/software used, date(s), time(s), signal strength, etc. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Radiofax, also known as HF FAX, radiofacsimile or weatherfax, is a means of
broadcasting graphic weather maps and other graphic images via HF radio.
HF radiofax is also known as WEFAX, although this term is generally
used to refer to the reception of weather charts and imagery via satellite.
Maps are received using a dedicated radiofax receiver or a single sideband (SSB)
shortwave receiver connected to an external facsimile recorder or PC equipped
with a radiofax interface and application software.
Note: Any reference to a commercial product or service does
not imply any endorsement by the National Weather Service as to function
or suitability for your purpose or environment.
Dedicated radiofax hardware is available from Alden,
Japan Marina Co. Ltd,
STN ATLAS Marine (SAM) Electronics,
Available radiofax software programs include (in
alphabetical order) ACfax(LINUX),
cocoaModem 2.0 (MAC OS X),
HF Weather FAX (iPhone/iPad/Android),
HF Weather Fax for marine(Android),
OpenCPN with Weatherfax Overlay,
HF Facsimile 8.0 For Windows , PC
Radiofax for Windows, ProMeteo,
Weatherfax v1.3 plug-in for OpenCPN,
for Windows ,
Digital Suite, WinSkan, WxImageApplications, and WXSat.
Also see the Worldwide
Radiofacsimile Webpage for listings of available equipment and software
as well as information on radiofax services available worldwide.
Many radiofax software programs are also capable of copying National Weather Service marine text forecasts broadcast by the U.S. Coast Guard using HF SITOR/NDBP. CLICK HERE for details.
For Historic Weather and Satellite Data Contact:
National Climatic Data Center
151 Patton Avenue, room 120
Asheville, NC 28801-5001
Marine Radiofacsimile is almost 90 years old! - The earliest broadcasts of weather maps via radiofacsimile appear to have been made in 1926 by American inventor Charles Francis Jenkins in a demonstration to the NAVY. Jenkins is often credited with the invention of the motion picture and later established the first U.S. TV station, W3XK in Wash D.C. and later, Wheaton, MD.
RCA and the U.S. Weather Bureau conducted further tests and began cooperative efforts in 1930. While radiofacsimile has been used for everything from transmitting newspapers to wanted posters in the past, the broadcasting of marine weather charts is today the primary application. The Smithsonian offers an interesting video: Founding Fragments - Radio Fax.
The Feb 10, 2012 version of our Worldwide Marine Radiofacsimile
Broadcast Schedules (PDF) is now available.
Refer to NGA Publication 117, which is updated
through the Notice to Mariners, for the latest official listing of U.S.
Coast Guard broadcast schedules.
The British Admiralty List of
Radio Signals , is an excellent reference source for weather broadcast information.
The NWS Ocean
Prediction Center makes available a Radiofacsimile Charts User's Guide online. To learn about using 500 MB charts, click HERE for a recent authoritative article published in the Mariner's Weather Log.
Click here to listen to what a typical radiofax signal
sounds like on the air.
The National Weather Service radiofax program prepares high seas weather
maps for broadcast via four U.S. Coast Guard (Boston, New Orleans, Pt.
Reyes, and Kodiak) and one DOD transmitter site (Honolulu). These broadcasts
are prepared by the Ocean
Prediction Center , National Hurricane
Forecast Office. and
Forecast Office. Limited satellite
imagery, sea surface temperature maps and text forecasts are also available. These offices provide links to their products as well as other supplementary information.
All NWS marine forecasts rely heavily on the Voluntary
Observing Ship (VOS) program for obtaining meteorological observations.
Ice Patrol also broadcasts radiofax charts from Boston sharing the
same transmitters. Visit the U.S.
Coast Guard Maritime Telecommunications Information webpage for more
information on U.S. Coast Guard telecommunications.
NWS radiofax products are available via the Internet (HTTP, FTP or E-mail). Although available, Internet access is not presently technically feasible for most vessels and broadcast
of graphic marine forecasts via HF radiofax remains among the most
valued of NWS marine services.
All radiofax broadcasts of National Weather Service products employ a
radiofax signal of 120 lines-per-minute (LPM) and an Index-of Cooperation
(IOC) of 576. These values must be entered into the users equipment
or software program in
order for the radiofax image to be displayed properly.
See tables below for abbreviated versions of radiofax broadcast
schedules. Assigned frequencies shown, for carrier frequency subtract 1.9
kHz. Typically dedicated radiofax receivers use assigned frequencies, while
receivers or transceivers, connected to external recorders or PC's, are
operated in the upper sideband (USB) mode using carrier frequencies.
|Boston (NMF) 4235(0230-1039z),
|International Ice Patrol (Seasonal, ~Feb- Sep)
Call Letters NIK
|New Orleans (NMG) 4317.9,
|Honolulu (KVM70) 9982.5(0519-1556z),
|(Note: DOD station, not USCG)